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Canada Counts
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A survey of Canadian buying intentions.
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Report taps Whirlpool as Canada's #1 majap resource PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael J. Knell   

OTTAWA (30 May 2012) - Whirlpool Canada is this country's largest marketer and distributor of major appliances with revenues of more than $1 billion, according to a market overview published by Appliance Magazine, U.S. trade publication.

In what it calls the Appliance Industry Review and Outlook: Canada, the magazine's editors opine that the Mississauga, Ontario-headquartered subsidiary of Whirlpool Corporation "is the dominant player in the Canadian market." This is the same position the parent company holds globally.

It also reports it has 500 employees and operates across the country. Although Whirlpool Canada has was it refers to as a "robust portfolio of brands that appeal to a wide range of consumers, including Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Inglis, Estate, and Roper," it no longer manufacturers product in this country, choosing to source its product from its U.S. parent.

This means there is little differentiation between product sold in Canada and that sold in the U.S. - save for minor changes in cosmetics, labeling and documentation.

However, Whirlpool's Canadian strategy seems to be to differentiate its brands through innovation. Each brand has its own identity and market position.

It should be noted Whirlpool gained its foothold in Canada when it acquired the John Inglis Co. Ltd. in 1969 and operated under the Inglis named until 2001. In 2005, the publicly-held Whirlpool began selling its ‘Inglis by Whirlpool Corporation' in the U.S., exclusively via electronics specialist Best Buy.

Sitting in second position in the Canadian market is Electrolux, with estimated 2010 sales of $645.8 million (SEK4.39 billion or Swedish Krona). In addition to its Frigidaire and Electrolux brands, the Mississauga-based subsidiary of the Swedish appliance powerhouse markets its AEG brand in Canada - something it doesn't do in the U.S.

Electrolux has already announced it intends to close its sole Canada manufacturing plant - a cooking appliances facility in l'Assomption, Quebec - in 2013, putting approximately 1,300 people out of work. Production will be moved to its major new factory in Memphis, Tennessee.

Rounding out the top three Canadian appliance resources is Mabe Canada - manufacturers and distributors of the GE, GE Profile, GE Monogram, and Hotpoint brands - which holds market share of about 17%, although Appliance Magazine didn't supply a dollar figure for its sales.

Mabe acquired Camco (Canadian Appliance Manufacturing Company Limited), originally the producers of the Westinghouse brand, when it acquired GE Appliances from the U.S.-based General Electric in 2005.

The report also noted that LG Electronics Canada claims to have the largest market share in one of the industry's fastest growing categories - front-load washing machines. LG has a broad presence in the Canadian market and is active in a number of sectors in addition to major appliances, including mobile communications, home entertainment, commercial air condition and business equipment.

The report also noted that during the 2000s, major appliance manufacturing went into steep decline. Decision making is now the province of a small number of global appliance companies who have closed Canadian production facilities and moved their capacity to the U.S., Mexico or other low-cost production countries. Appliance Magazine estimated there were fewer than 2,000 appliance manufacturing jobs in Canada at the end of last year.

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